Jim Kolbe Hub

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1197

FORMER ARIZONA REP. JIM KOLBE: Speaks to Log Cabin Republicans in Tampa,

KATE BORNSTEIN: Trans activist discusses escaping Scientology.

SPY BLIMP: Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) takes off.

JOHN PEREZ: California Assembly Speaker denounces gay "conversion therapy" in floor speech. The bill banning it was subsequently passed.

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Larry Craig Sued For $217,000

070911_lcraig_simonPoor Larry Craig. The ex-senator, famous for his wide stance in airport bathrooms, is currently fending off demands from the Federal Elections Commission that he personally repay the $217,000 spent on his legal defense in the gross/funny/sad leadup to his resignation in 2007.

From the AP:

The FEC sued Craig in June in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging he converted the campaign money to personal use by spending it on his legal defense after he was accused of soliciting sex in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport bathroom. The commission argues Craig's defense had no connection to his campaign for federal office.

The ex-senator begs to differ. He insists out that his trip to the airport was pure business -- was constitutionally mandated, in fact, because he was headed to D.C. to fulfill his senatorial duties -- and as such, any expenses incurred while using the airport's amenities ought to be reimbursed by the United States government. Craig and his lawyers claim the assertion has precedent. From the AP:

In documents supporting his bid to have the complaint dismissed, Craig cites the case of former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who tapped campaign money in 2006 to defend himself after allegations of improper behavior emerged against him following a Grand Canyon rafting trip with two former male pages.

Log Cabin Republicans Hold Fundraiser for Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu as Campaign Contributions Dry Up


Buzzfeed has obtained an invitation for a Log Cabin D.C. Fundraiser for Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu hosted by gay former Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe this Tuesday.

Says the invite: "Simply by being who we are – unapologetically pro-gay and unapologetically conservative - Log Cabin Republicans like Sheriff Babeu are helping to secure the freedoms America stands for, and that’s something we can all be proud of."

Meanwhile, the Phoenix New Times reports that donations to Babeu's congressional campaign have collapsed since allegations broke in February that Babeu had threatened a former boyfriend with deportation if he revealed they had a romantic relationship.

Contributions to congressional hopeful Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu barely trickled in during March, with the once-popular lawman pocketing a mere $6,700 in the wake of multiple scandals that have enveloped him, his agency and his campaign. By comparison, Congressman Paul Gosar, who is also running for a seat in Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, raised $80,000 that same month.

News reports since that time also revealed that Babeu ran The DeSisto School, a Massachusetts boarding school with a history of physical and sexual abuse, such as forcing students to wear sheets, sit facing walls for hours, undergo strip searches and take group showers. Babeu's sister also claimed that she discovered Babeu dating a 17-year-old DeSisto student.

In interviews shortly after the scandal broke, Babeu indicated that he had been in contact with leadership at the Log Cabin Republicans. When asked if he might get involved with LCR by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Babeu replied, "I'm sure".

Gay Former Congressman Jim Kolbe Endorses Sheriff Babeu

Pinal County Sheriff and congressional candidate Paul Babeu, who yesterday asked for an investigation into claims by his ex-boyfriend Jose Orozco that he threatened him over exposing their relationship, has received support from gay former Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe.

KolbeSaid Kolbe to Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

“I endorse Paul Babeu based on his distinguished record of service to his country both in the military and as a law enforcement officer,” Kolbe said. “I think he has a solid understanding of the short and long-term economic problems that face this country and is willing to make the necessary, tough decisions to tackle them.”

Kolbe, who came out in 1996 after being hit with criticism for voting in favor of DOMA, said he knew Babeu was gay prior to last weekend when Babeu announced it in response to the allegations.

Added Kolbe: “I knew he was gay. That is the only thing that I can say that I knew. We had several little discussions about that in my conversations with him. That’s all I would say about that.”

White House Won't Rule Out Nomination of an Openly Gay Commerce Secretary as Position Opens Up

Last week, Obama nominated Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as U.S. Ambassador to China, and a couple openly gay candidates are in prime positions to fill the Cabinet role. LGBT advocates are hopeful, the Washington Blade reports:

Hochberg Fred Hochberg, who’s gay and director of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, has emerged at the top of the list of LGBT business experts who could fill the role of commerce secretary.

Hochberg, who has a background in business management and once served as deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration, was cited in 2009 as a contender for the position of commerce secretary when it was first open in the Obama administration.

Another name being floated is former Arizona GOP Congressman Jim Kolbe:

Kolbe An expert on trade, Kolbe left Congress and now works as a fellow at the German-Marshall Fund, where he has specialized in trans-Atlantic trade issues. 

[Justin] Nelson, [president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce] counted Kolbe as among those who could fit the bill for commerce secretary.

“He has a firm understanding of policy,” Nelson said. “Certainly having served on the board of Export-Import Bank, having served in Congress and his work on behalf of the business and the LGBT community would make him another excellent choice.”

The President's choice would be historic, as an openly LGBT person has never filled a cabinet position.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, wouldn’t rule out that the president would nominate an openly LGBT person as commerce secretary.

“The president will consider a range of qualified candidates, but we are at a very early stage in the process and no decisions have been made,” Inouye said.


White House to Appoint Former Rep. Jim Kolbe to Trade Committee

KolbePresident Obama yesterday announced his intent to appoint gay Republican former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations:

From the White House bio:

"Jim Kolbe is the Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He is as an adjunct Professor in the College of Business at the University of Arizona and a consultant with McLarty Associates. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Export-Import Bank and is co-chair of the Transatlantic Taskforce. He formerly served in Congress representing southeastern Arizona, from 1985 to 2007. Mr. Kolbe has received numerous awards and tributes, including the George Marshall Award for Distinguished Service from USAID, and the Order of the Aztec from the President of Mexico."


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